Critics question why some TransLink employees are paid extra for working Sundays

WATCH: It turns out some TransLink workers are getting a hefty pay bonus, just for working Sundays. Ted Chernecki has more on how many people enjoy the perk and what it costs.

Working on weekends is usually seen as less than ideal, but would earning an extra 50 per cent to work Sundays provide enough incentive to make you reconsider?

That’s the case for some TransLink employees, thanks to their collective agreement, which states that almost every union worker gets paid an extra 50 per cent for regularly-scheduled Sunday shifts.

The extra pay on Sunday is hardly news to TransLink employees, but some are saying it’s time the long-standing bonus be eliminated in light of a proposed tax increase to fund transit.

“The mayors aren’t minding the store,” said Gregory Thomas of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. “[Vancouver Mayor] Gregor Robertson’s not minding the store. He doesn’t care if staff get a 50 per cent bonus to work on Sundays. It’s not his money. They’re just going to raise taxes to get all the money they need.”
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The previous bargaining agreement included a 25 per cent bonus for working on Sundays, but since 2011 the bonus for Sunday shifts has been 50 per cent.

In 2012, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation made a Freedom of Information request on Sunday premiums. They found Transit Police alone received about $1.4 million in extra pay simply for working Sunday.

Neither TransLink nor the union spoke to Global News, although Unifor did estimate that the bonus probably applies to about 20 per cent of the workforce and almost everyone who works a non-overtime Sunday.

-with files from Ted Chernecki

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